If you have ever taken an Enneagram test or are thinking of taking one, you might have heard of wings in an enneagram, and no, I don’t mean the things that help birds fly. If you are unsure of the concept and its implications, this post will help you understand wings and especially the concept of balanced wings in an enneagram better.
What are Wings?
Wings are basically extensions of the core personality type that you have. Often a person with a strong “type” will have traits of other “types” that will become their wings. The adjacent personality types often influence the behaviour of the individual to a certain text and end up as their wings.
For example, if you see something like 6w7, it can be understood as the core Enneagram type is 6, with the supporting wing being a type 7. The “w” obviously stands for wing and this example can be read out as “6 wing 7”.
Think of wings as supplements to your main personality type. The reason why wings are important is because they allow you to understand clearly, what your deeper motivations and intentions are.
Most theories agree that each of the different types of personalities in the Enneagram test will usually have one dominant wing. It is extremely unusual but certainly not impossible, to have a person equally influenced by both wings.
However, amongst the multiple conjectures to do with the Enneagram test, some theories, such as the one put forward by Sandra Maitri, do not believe in the one-wings idea at all and are sponsors of the idea that all personality types depend on both the nearby wings and are always equally influenced by both.
Balanced Wings In An Enneagram
The Riso and Hudson enneagram test is the world’s most popular enneagram test. Don Riso and Russ Hudson introduced a theory that individuals exist who display equal characteristics of both the types adjacent to the core personality type.
For example, balanced wings in an enneagram test would look like “5w4/6”. Therefore, from a test standpoint, it means that the core type is 5 but the person is not specifically bent towards one other adjacent type. Instead the person is influenced equally by both adjacent personality types.
It is rare to see this because most individuals always lean towards one wing or the other. It is not necessary that having balanced wings means a highly evolved personality that is very well adjusted to life and whatever they may face daily. Sometimes, a balanced wings result could also point to an indecisive mind that does not know what it wants exactly, which is why it gets influenced by both sides of the core personality it has.
A theory also exists that balanced wings may be the outcome of age or an increase in maturity.
For example, you may be a Type 3 wing 4 but as time passes, or if you have a significant event in your life, you might take on the shades of type 2 and type 4 equally.
To be fair, the debate on Balanced Wings is an old one that will continue to rage till Kingdom come. What is important is that we embrace the possibility, no matter how rare, so that we may open our minds to newer and more exciting theories on the Enneagram test.